REVIEW: Straight To The Heart by S.J. Coles

The Official Description: What happens when the person you can’t get out of your head also happens to be the number one suspect in your murder investigation?

Derek Benson, CEO of Benson Industries, is found dead in his office at a time when everyone in the building, including him, should have been at an important meeting about the company’s future. Conveniently for the killer, the security footage from the time of the murder has vanished.

None of this fazes FBI Agent James Solomon. James knows himself, his job and how to set aside his ongoing personal problems to get the job done, even when the investigation is in a small-town backwater like Winton.

There’s just one problem—the intriguing form of young lab technician Leo Hannah, an employee of Benson Industries and a key witness, who appears to know more than he’s admitting to.

As the investigation progresses, James finds that his previously steadfast ability to separate personal from professional becomes increasingly unreliable. Can he get his head in the game before he compromises the investigation and his future career?

Reader advisory: Ths book contains a scene of public sex, graphic corpse description, and scenes involving violence, abduction and attempted murder.

Just the facts: M/M romance, crime solving, confusion

I was drawn into this really quickly! Great characters and a believable and interesting plot!

Kinzie Things


My thoughts bit: 

This book begins with a murder and it moves quickly! FBI Agent James Solomon arrives to interview suspects at Benson industries. The CEO has been found dead by the janitor and there are a lot of staff to interview.

One staff person, in particular, stands out to James for potentially the wrong reasons. While out on a fresh air break, he meets Leo Hannah. Leo is chatty and a little peculiar, but James is drawn to him. Leo has a lot of gossip and theories about the murder but nothing that really holds water.

Still recovering from the recent end of a long-term relationship, James finds himself intrigued by Leo. This is when things get tangled in the most interesting of ways. Leo becomes a suspect in the case…. but not before James has already spent a night with Leo.

Leo’s life isn’t quite what he’s led James to believe, but then, if you just leave things out… are you being deceptive? There are some significant twists and turns in this. Coles has packed a lot into this, and it doesn’t feel overstuffed with action. The pacing is excellent, and the plot unfolds quite naturally.

This is a short novella, but I loved it. It was engaging from the very beginning which is often difficult to do with a shorter piece. S.J. Coles is a master of characterization and pulls off fully rounded, intriguing characters right from the start. There’s an ease of intimacy with these characters that made me feel as though I’d been reading about them for longer than I had. James makes some very human mistakes and he’s very relatable.

If you enjoy reading solid crime/ mystery, then this won’t disappoint!

Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) Vivid descriptions of dead bodies, violence, character (not mains) cheats, character was in semi-abusive relationship, character discusses having deceased parents, abduction, descriptions of shooting.

Links: Goodreads // The Author // The Publisher

I received an ARC of Straight To The Heart by S.J. Coles from The Author in exchange for an unbiased review.


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